Glenda Veronica Close (born March 19, 1947) is an American actress, singer and film producer. She began her professional stage career in 1974 in Love for Love, and was mostly a New York stage actress through the rest of the 1970s and early 1980s, appearing in both plays and musicals, including the Broadway productions of Barnum in 1980 and The Real Thing in 1983, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.
Her film debut was in The World According to Garp (1982), which she followed up with supporting roles in The Big Chill (1983) and The Natural (1984); all three earned her nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She would later receive nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performances in Fatal Attraction (1987), Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and Albert Nobbs (2011). She won two more Tony Awards in the 1990s, for Death and the Maiden in 1992 and Sunset Boulevard in 1995, while she won her first Emmy Award for the 1995 TV film Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story.
She starred as Eleanor of Aquitaine in the 2003 TV film The Lion in Winter, winning a Golden Globe Award. In 2005 she starred in the drama series The Shield. Then, from 2007 to 2012, she starred as Patty Hewes in the FX drama series Damages, a role that won her a Golden Globe and two Emmys. She has voiced the character of Mona Simpson in the animated sitcom The Simpsons since 1995. She returned to Broadway in November 2014, in a revival of Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance. Her other films include Jagged Edge (1985), Hamlet (1990), Reversal of Fortune (1990), 101 Dalmatians (1996), Paradise Road (1997), Air Force One (1997), Cookie's Fortune (1999), Heights (2005), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and The Girl With All The Gifts (2016).
Close is a six-time Academy Award nominee, tying the record for being the actress with the most nominations never to have won (along with Deborah Kerr and Thelma Ritter). As of 2018, Close has more Oscar nominations without a win than any other living actor. In addition, she has been nominated for four Tonys (three wins), fourteen Emmys (three wins), thirteen Golden Globes (two wins), two Drama Desk Awards (one win) and eight Screen Actors Guild Awards (one win). She has also won an Obie award and has been nominated for three Grammy Awards and a BAFTA. Close has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
Close was born on March 19, 1947 in Greenwich, Connecticut, to William Taliaferro Close, a doctor who operated a clinic in the Belgian Congo and served as a personal physician to Zaire's ruler Mobutu Sese Seko, and socialite Bettine Moore Close. She has two sisters, Tina and Jessie, and two brothers, Alexander (nicknamed Sandy) and Tambu Misoki, whom Close's parents adopted while living in Africa.
During her childhood, Close lived with her parents in a stone cottage on her maternal grandfather's estate in Greenwich. Close has credited her acting abilities to her early years: "I have no doubt that the days I spent running free in the evocative Connecticut countryside with an unfettered imagination, playing whatever character our games demanded, is one of the reasons that acting has always seemed so natural to me." Although Close has an affluent background, she has stated that her family chose not to participate in WASP society. She would also avoid mentioning her birthplace whenever asked because she did not want people to think she was a "dilettante who didn't have to work."
When she was seven years old, her parents joined the Moral Re-Armament (MRA), in which her family remained involved for fifteen years, living in communal centers. Close described MRA as a "cult" that dictated every aspect of her life, from the clothes that had to be worn to what she was allowed to say. In an interview Close stated that her desire to become an actress allowed her to break away from MRA, stating: "I have long forgiven my parents for any of this. They had their reasons for doing what they did, and I understand them. It had terrible effects on their kids, but that’s the way it is. We all try to survive, right? And I think what actually saved me more than anything was my desire to be an actress." She spent time in Switzerland when studying at St. George's School in Switzerland. Close traveled for several years in the mid-to-late 1960s with an MRA singing group called Up With People, and attended Rosemary Hall (now Choate Rosemary Hall), graduating in 1965. During her time in Up With People, Close organized a small singing group, the Green Glenn Singers, consisting of herself, Kathe Green, Jennie Dorn, and Vee Entwistle. The group's stated mission was "to write and sing songs which would give people a purpose and inspire them to live the way they were meant to live."